(out of 5)
Francis Ford Coppola seeks to reclaim his lost glory with this overreaching art film about familial melodrama in Buenos Aires. Benny (Alden Ehrenreich) is a teenager who gets off the ship that he has been working on as a waiter to seek out his long-lost older brother Angelo (Vincent Gallo) in the Argentinean capital. Angelo, who now calls himself Tetro, is unreasonable and unkind, scribbling madly away in his apartment while his live-in girlfriend (Maribel Verdú) apologizes to Benny for his inhospitable behaviour. As time progresses, Benny investigates family secrets, none of which are interesting, and delves into Tetro’s writing; after augmenting Gallo’s work into a play, Benny enters an arts festival run by a mysterious critic (Carmen Maura) and enrages his brother, the conflict of which sets in motion the healing finale. The film has a lot going for it, including gorgeous black and white photography, a magnificent musical score (punctuated by lots of lovely tango) and terrific casting (Maura is delightful behind her sunglasses), but Coppola overindulges himself in artistic flourishes that go nowhere. Tetro is far too unreachable for too long, his denouement in the film’s climax all the more dishonest as a result, and while you want to enjoy it for Ehrenreich’s warm performance as Benny, there’s no denying that this film is a rambling mess of nonsense.
American Zoetrope, Zoetrope Argentina, Tornasol Films, BIM Distribuzione, Instituto Nacional de Cine y Artes Audiovisuales, Genercia de Fomento, Television Espanola, Canal+ Espana, Instituto de la Cinematografia ye de las Artes Audiovisuales, Instituto de Credito Oficial
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
Screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola, based on Fausta by Mauricio Kartun
Cinematography by Mihai Malaimaire Jr.
Music by Osvaldo Golijov
Production Design by Sebastian Orgambide
Costume Design by Cecilia Monti
Film Editing by Walter Murch
Cast Tags: Adriana Mastrángelo, Alden Ehrenreich, Carmen Maura, Erica Rivas, Francesca De Sapio, Jean-François Casanovas, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Leticia Brédice, Lucas Di Conza, Marcelo Fabio Carte, Maribel Verdú, Mariela Noemi Magenta, Mike Amigorena,Nora Elisabeth Robles, Pedro Arturo Calveyra, Pochi Ducasse, Rodrigo De la Serna, Silvia Pérez, Sofía Gala, Susana Giménez, Vincent Gallo, Ximena Maria Iacono
Goya Award Nomination
Best Lead Actress (Maribel Verdu)